Dance Writing

The Journalism Program: Why We Write

See Chicago Dance views dance criticism as an essential aspect of our vision to fearlessly inspire an ever-growing, inclusive community to share in and spread the power of dance in Chicago. Created as a response to waning dance criticism in newspapers, our journalism program makes space for experienced critics to reflect on Chicago’s robust dance community and to mentor and promote new and underrepresented critics. With a keen awareness of dance criticism’s history of prioritizing Euro-American forms and marginalizing others, SCD seeks to promote equity in who writes about dance and what kinds of dance are recorded. Arts communities can wither without discerning responses to their work. As part of our mission to serve the dance field in Chicago, we recognize that dance writers make artists and organizations better.

Editorial Policies:

The editor and writers at See Chicago Dance strive to present fair and equitable coverage of Chicago’s multifaceted dance community. The only requirement is listing your event on the SCD calendar, a free service available to all See Chicago Dance members (membership is free!). We start to make decisions about our editorial calendar on the 10th of each month, so it is highly recommended you post your events at least 4-6 weeks ahead. Editorial assignments are made at the discretion of the editor and according to budgetary restrictions. Calendar listings do not guarantee coverage.

Features, previews and reviews on our site provide commentary on a variety of dance disciplines, organizational sizes, neighborhoods and cultural backgrounds. The editor shall ensure balance and fairness in assignments as well as the tone and quality of publicized materials. Our main goal is educating, informing and inspiring our readers.

See Chicago Dance adheres to standards of practice similar to those of any other news outlet. The editor and writers function independently from SCD organizational programs and maintain curatorial and financial separation from executive leadership and the board of directors.

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Meet our team:


Rachel Benzing

Writer, Rachel Benzing, is a native of Chicago, IL, with a love of dance that has been an intrinsic component of her spirit since she could put on a pair of dance shoes at age three.   After many years spent training at various Chicagoland studios, including Joel Hall Dance Center and Visceral Dance Center, Rachel continued developing her passion by earning a Bachelor's Degree in Dance (while at the same time a second Bachelor’s Degree in History) from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.  She then went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance: Creative Practice from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, UK, where she presented a performance art based thesis centering around the socioeconomic ideas of Capitalist Realism and its interactions with both Drag and Live Action Role Play as performance art. Rachel currently performs and teaches in the Chicagoland area and choreographs for dance studios and competition teams around the country.  Her work has won numerous awards for Choreography, Entertainment, Creative Concept, Overall Presentation, and has been chosen as contending nominees for the Industry Dance Awards.


D'onminique Boyd-Riley

For the past 15 years, writer D’onminique Boyd-Riley has contributed to the field of dance in varying roles as a performer, educator, healer, community member and arts administrator. Most notably, she danced professionally with Kotchegna Ivory Coast Company, the Howard University Marching Band, studied with the Urban Bush Women in the Summer Leadership Institute, appeared in the movie Step Up and worked as a dance facilitator at El Puente Academy of Peace and Justice. In 2016, she was awarded the Legacy Continues award by the Katherine Dunham Museum for her commitment to sharing the importance of Miss Dunham’s legacy. She has worked internationally studying traditional South African dances  as a Baldwin Artist in Residence and locally with students on the Autism Spectrum as an Adaptive Dance Assistant at Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago. Currently, D’onminique lives on Chicago’s South Side where she works with a creative community of teachers, artists, families and students helping to build the next generation of artists, creative thinkers and arts advocates as the Assistant Director of Education and Family Programs at the Logan Center for the Arts. She continues to find inspiration in humanity as a new mom, while examining the politics of black movement in the streets, in nature, at leisure, in quiet and on the stage. She is honored to share her voice and further her contribution to the field of dance as a critical dance writing fellow with See Chicago Dance.


Tristan Bruns

Managing editor & writer Tristan Bruns is a tap dancer from Chicago. Tristan is a professional company member of M.A.D.D. Rhythms and was a founding member of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project's resident ensemble,  BAM!. Tristan is the director of Tapman Productions, LLC, a multi-genre dance production company and tap dance floor rental service.  Besides tap dancing, Tristan has been a featured columnist at and currently pens the blog The Tap Book at Tristan holds a BA in music from Columbia College Chicago.


Lynn Shapiro Editor emerita & writer Lynn Shapiro is a freelance writer and visual artist. Her reviews and feature stories have appeared in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, DanceTabs and Dance International. Her plays have been produced by CBS TV, as well as by regional theatre companies throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Lynn has taught Fiction Writing at Columbia College, Movement for Actors at The Theatre School, DePaul University, and Dance at Barat College and The Latin School of Chicago. She has been an Artist In Residence with the Illinois Arts Council and The Chicago Board of Jewish Education. She has directed and choreographed for Piven Theatre Workshop, Famous Door Theatre, Goodman Children's Theatre, Light Opera Works, Opera Midwest, and Metropolis Performing Arts Center. She has also written and directed productions for corporate training through theater. In New York City where she danced professionally, Lynn attended The Martha Graham School and Juilliard. She received a BA in English Literature from the University of Illinois, and an MFA/MA in Fiction Writing and The Teaching of Creative Writing from Columbia College.  Her fiction and poetry have been published in Midstream Magazine, The Jewish Women's Literary Annual, The Chicago Jewish News, East On Central, Realize Magazine, and Pioneer Press.  Lynn was the editor of See Chicago Dance from 2013-2018.


Vicki Crain

Writer-at-large Vicki Crain has been involved in dance as a student, performer, teacher and dance writer for over 30 years. She holds a BA in English from University of Illinois (Springfield) and has interviewed notable artists such as Lar Lubovitch, Ann Reinking, Twyla Tharp and Christopher Wheeldon. She is the founder of Rogue Ballerina, a Chicago-based dance blog (est. 2009), published her first children’s book The Furry Princess in 2018, and is launching a podcast in late 2020. Her writing has been seen in Dance Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Windy City Times and CS Magazine among other publications. She is the former marketing manager for The Joffrey Ballet (2013-2020). Vicki was the editor of See Chicago Dance from 2012-2013.